Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:05 am

Greetings Alex,

Alex123 wrote:Can you please explain how that [distinction between "causes" and "conditions"] relates to what we were talking about?

Because you seemingly regard them as separate notions here..

Alex123 wrote:Tittha sutta rejects chalking everything just to past causes indiscriminately. But there are not just any kind of past causes. There are specific conditions that are happening now, and recently that can condition wholesome or unwholesome action.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:05 am

I've also been lurking, since I find this such a complex subject that I'm afraid that anything I say will be a gross oversimplification.

I found the article referred to early in the thread by Kirk: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=6234&start=80#p98692 very useful in seeing the issues (but not necessarily resolving them in my mind).

Federman, Asaf (2010) What kind of free will did the Buddha teach? Philosophy East and West, Vol.60 (No.1). ISSN 0031-8221
http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/3142/
Human choice and endeavor has a causally effective power within a causally
operated reality. In other words, the fact that reality is deterministic does not contradict
the ability of agents to speculate and reflect about what to do next and decide
accordingly. This kind of free will—imperfect and limited, but not powerless and
irrelevant—is not the opposite of determinism but the opposite of fatalism. While
determinism means that events happen because other events caused them, it is silent
on whether agents cause anything; determinism may well be true in a world without
agents at all. On the other hand, fatalism is an ethical stance because it says that
agents do not have the power to cause anything and that therefore there is no point
in trying. This has, of course, far-reaching ethical implications that are not overlooked
by the Buddha.

Conclusion

The Cartesian and Brahmanical understandings of free will refer to a power that
belongs in the soul, that transcends the physical, and that has ultimate control over
the body. The Buddha rejects this notion and at the same time rejects fatalism, which
leaves no room for significant choices. This rejection is similar in many aspects
to the contemporary rejection of the Cartesian notion of free will as expressed in Dennett’s work.
Both Dennett and the Buddha do not accept the idea of a God-like
eternal soul, and argue that there is no ultimate control that transcends causality and
that entertains supreme mastery of the body.

Dennett’s alternative is expounded systematically in the modern Western philosophical
manner. It includes redefining free will as the agent’s ability to control
action according to will whenever there are no constraints, coercions, and compulsions
that limit performance. He adds an important cognitive layer to the analysis
and shows how imagination of possibilities, prediction, and self-control are the basic
functions that make agents free. One of Dennett’s main contributions to the free-will
debate is the distinction between determinism as a metaphysical position and inevitability,
or fatalism, which are ethical positions.

The Buddhist treatment of free will has to be extracted from the doctrine, as the
doctrine is by no means a systematic philosophical treatise. Nevertheless, it is clear
that the Buddha saw that freedom has a negative correlation with compulsions.
While the Western tradition tends to emphasize external compulsion and social freedom,
Buddhist doctrine tends to emphasize internal compulsions and psychological
freedom.

Much of the confusion around whether the Buddha taught free will can be
avoided by dropping the Cartesian model and using a compatibilist model. Buddhist
doctrine contains a version of compatibilism that may explain the seemingly contradictory
statements given by some scholars: Buddhism rejects the idea that free will
exists outside the causal nexus, and at the same it affirms that people can choose
and take responsibility for their choices. Choosing right action is not derived from a
supernatural or super-causal origin. It is derived from wise contemplation over the
possible consequences. This wisdom enables free will, and is a faculty that can be
developed. What limits free will is not causality itself, but various mental compulsions.
The kind of free will that the Buddha taught is the acquired ability for clear
reflection and wise choice that emerges with their eradication

:anjali:
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:12 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Alex,

Because you seemingly regard them as separate notions here..


That was just my style of writing in that post.

To answer re: Tittha sutta, I believe the shortest and possibly truest answer is that:
Buddha denies that present Kamma is caused just by past Kamma.
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:19 am

Hello Mike, all,

Thank you for posting, Mike.

Human choice and endeavor has a causally effective power within a causally operated reality. In other words, the fact that reality is deterministic does not contradict the ability of agents to speculate and reflect about what to do next and decide accordingly. This kind of free will—imperfect and limited, but not powerless and irrelevant—is not the opposite of determinism but the opposite of fatalism. While determinism means that events happen because other events caused them, it is silent on whether agents cause anything; determinism may well be true in a world without agents at all. On the other hand, fatalism is an ethical stance because it says that agents do not have the power to cause anything and that therefore there is no point in trying. This has, of course, far-reaching ethical implications that are not overlooked
by the Buddha.


That article talks about agents, and this seems to be very similar to what the Buddha would call Atta. There is sentence in your excerpt that defends my point
"determinism may well be true in a world without agents at all". Buddha taught anatta. He didn't teach about agents. The world is empty of Self or what belongs to it, SN35.85. "Agent" is not the cause of kamma. Phassa (contact) is proximate cause of Kamma.

Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"Insofar as it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self: Thus it is said, Ananda, that the world is empty. "
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html




Note: It is not the will, resolution, determination, choice, etc, that is the cause. Phassa (contact) is.




With metta,

Alex
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:57 am

Alex123 wrote:That article talks about agents, and this seems to be very similar to what the Buddha would call Atta. ...

I think you need to read the whole article carefully:

Besides the absence of constraint, the compatibilist definition of free will requires
also an agent that is capable of monitoring wishes in order to execute actions.
Although the Buddha denied ultimate agency—the singular point from which soul
ultimately controls the body—he acknowledged moral choice and personal retribution.
The agent in this case is nothing but a collection of physical and mental processes,
but as such it can still choose what to do.
The Buddha rejected the view,
attributed to Makkhali Gosala, that there is no self-agency (attaka¯ ra) 42 and replied
to another question on the same subject that people have an ‘‘ability of initiating’’
(a¯rabbha-dha¯ tu).43 Some other Pa¯li terms that fall under the English ‘‘intention’’—
san˜ cetana¯ , sankappa, cetana¯—indicate that for the Buddha a person is able to consciously
plan and direct action. Being part of the eightfold path samma¯ -sankappa is
singled out as a function that can direct behavior toward non-harm and renunciation.
44 Cetana¯ is singled out as equally important when the Buddha declares that it
defines action with moral consequence (kamma).45 Denying intention, that is, the
ability to plan and deliberate action, would be similar to accepting the fatalistic doctrine
of Makkhali Gosala.


:anjali:
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby robertk » Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:58 am

mikenz66 wrote:IFederman, Asaf (2010) What kind of free will did the Buddha teach? Philosophy East and West, Vol.60 (No.1). ISSN 0031-8221
http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/3142/
Human choice and endeavor has a causally effective power within a causally
operated reality. In other words, the fact that reality is deterministic does not contradict
the ability of agents to speculate and reflect about what to do next and decide
accordingly. This kind of free will—imperfect and limited, but not powerless and
irrelevant—is not the opposite of determinism but the opposite of fatalism. While
determinism means that events happen because other events caused them, it is silent
on whether agents cause anything; determinism may well be true in a world without
agents at all. On the other hand, fatalism is an ethical stance because it says that
agents do not have the power to cause anything and that therefore there is no point
in trying. This has, of course, far-reaching ethical implications that are not overlooked
by the Buddha.

Conclusion
This wisdom enables free will, and is a faculty that can be
developed. What limits free will is not causality itself, but various mental compulsions.
The kind of free will that the Buddha taught is the acquired ability for clear
reflection and wise choice that emerges with their eradication

:anjali:
Mike

Mike could you tell us why you found it so helpful, I find it a very misleading . and confused essay on the Buddha's teaching.

I wrote to you about a year ago:


Mike: I keep seeing the argument that "because of anatta there is no control". Can
someone please explain this? I'm afraid that the logic is beyond me.

Perhaps I can give an example. A computer-controlled vehicle has no self but
does have some control of trajectory...


dear Mike
yes and in the same way a human, dog, insect is programed to perform certain
actions and have certain beliefs. However, unlike your computer car, there was
never any original programmer- no person, no God, no one at all, who set up the
program. In fact no beginning can be discerned..

Also this program- comprising of paccaya- conditions, is much more more complex than any computer robot/car
because it is very gradually changing, aeon by aeon, millienia by millenia,
century by century, year by year, and in fact moment by moment.
Now I act, think and look like a man because of the rupas that arise due to
kamma, next life maybe I will be a woman where I will have all the
characteristics of that gender.

No control anywhere - the rupas (matter) don't
want to be woman or man- but they arise depending on kamma. Nor do the namas
(mentality) want to think like a man, they merely perform their functions.
I enjoy being a man now- but I will also enjoy being a woman, no doubt- not
because "I" want to enjoy but because underlying life is the roots of avija,
ignorance, lobha, attachment, and wrongview(that thinks there is some self that
is doing, behaving and thinking in various ways).)
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:08 am

Hello Mike, all,

Ultimately, I consider suttas to be the authority. And AN6.63 does say that "Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play".

Sometimes I strongly disagree with what modern authors claim that the Buddha has said.

With metta,

Alex
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby robertk » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:25 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Alex123 wrote:That article talks about agents, and this seems to be very similar to what the Buddha would call Atta. ...

I think you need to read the whole article carefully:

Besides the absence of constraint, the compatibilist definition of free will requires
also an agent that is capable of monitoring wishes in order to execute actions.
Although the Buddha denied ultimate agency—the singular point from which soul
ultimately controls the body—he acknowledged moral choice and personal retribution.
The agent in this case is nothing but a collection of physical and mental processes,
but as such it can still choose what to do.
The Buddha rejected the view,
attributed to Makkhali Gosala, that there is no self-agency (attaka¯ ra) 42 and replied
to another question on the same subject that people have an ‘‘ability of initiating’’
(a¯rabbha-dha¯ tu).43 Some other Pa¯li terms that fall under the English ‘‘intention’’—
san˜ cetana¯ , sankappa, cetana¯—indicate that for the Buddha a person is able to consciously
plan and direct action. Being part of the eightfold path samma¯ -sankappa is
singled out as a function that can direct behavior toward non-harm and renunciation.
44 Cetana¯ is singled out as equally important when the Buddha declares that it
defines action with moral consequence (kamma).45 Denying intention, that is, the
ability to plan and deliberate action, would be similar to accepting the fatalistic doctrine
of Makkhali Gosala.


:anjali:
Mike


Dear Mike

Do you really think that say myself or Alex or any Buddhist believes as Makkhali that http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When this was said, Makkhali Gosala said to me, 'Great king, there is no cause, no requisite condition, for the defilement of beings. Beings are defiled without cause, without requisite condition. There is no cause, no requisite condition, for the purification of beings. Beings are purified without cause, without requisite condition. "

In fact there are causes for everything and for the attainment of nibbana it is the eight fold path. And that depends on rightview - which is conditioned by hearing Dhamma.

This writer makes the claim
.The agent that in this case is nothing but a collection of physical and mental processes,
but as such it can still choose what to do


What! This collection of physical and mental phemomena is utterly conditioned and each arising of mental factors and physical factors falls away completely before the next arises. There is no agent doing something like choosing :

Therefore, just as a marionette is void, soulless and without curisosity, and while it works and stands merely through the combination of strings and wood yet it seems as if it had curiosity and interestedness, so too this materiality (rupa)-mentality (nama) is void, soulless and without curiosity, and while it walks and stands merely through the combination of the two together, yet it seems (#)as if it had curiosity and interestedness."
Visuddhimagga XVIII 31


# It is this seems that make people like the author of that article go so far wrong and decide the Buddha must be hiding an agent somewhere.
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby robertk » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:34 am

This old post by Venerable Dhammanando might be helpful:
Re: Kamma and its Ripening in the Abhidhamma
viewtopic.php?f=18&t=336

Hi Will,

will: First she (Nina van gorkom)says "all cittas are beyond control" then "The cittas that like or dislike, and the cittas that think about the object, are not results but causes; they can motivate deeds which will bring fresh results." So I guess she means there are resultant cittas, all of which we have no control over and there are causal cittas which are causal because intention is there.

Actually intention (cetanā) is one of the universal mental factors (sabbacittasādhāraṇa cetasika), and so is present in every kind of citta, including vipākacittas. But the cetanā that arises with a vipākacitta is not kamma-producing; it merely performs the function of organizing its associated mental factors.

As for having control over it, bear in mind that intention is part of the fourth aggregate, formations. Concerning which the Buddha says:


"Bhikkhus, formations are not-self. Were formations self, then these formations would not tend to affliction, and one could have it of formations: 'Let my formations be thus, let my formations be otherwise.' But since formations are not-self, so they tend to affliction, and none can have it of formations: 'Let my formations be thus, let my formations be otherwise."
(Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta)

Will: Therefore over the causal cittas we do have control

Who is this "we" that has control?



"In all kinds of becoming, generation, destiny, station and abode, there appears only mentality-&-materiality (nāma-rūpa), which occurs by means of linking of cause with fruit. He sees no doer over and above the doing, no experiencer of the result over and above the occurrence of the result. But he sees clearly with right understanding that the wise say 'doer' when there is doing and 'experiencer' when there is experiencing simply as a mode of common usage.

"Hence the Ancients said:

"
There is no doer of a kamma
Or one who reaps the kamma's result;
Phenomena alone flow on—
No other view than this is right."
(Path of Purification, XIX 20)


In the Abhidhamma there's neither a controller of dhammas nor even one single dhamma that would be amenable to being controlled. Each conditioned dhamma arises, performs its function and falls away. There is no room here for an "I" or a "we".

- Will: how else would any transformation or purification occur?

In the Abhidhamma each stage and each aspect of purification, from going for refuge and undertaking the five precepts up to attaining the path and fruit of arahantship is explicated chiefly in terms of dhammas, not persons. How does it occur? Like everything else, it occurs by the arising of the necessary conditions for its occurrence. In particular:


The wholesome dhammas that constitute these stages of purification all have right view as their forerunner.
Right view arises in the present on account of past desire-to-act (chanda) and past volitions (cetanā) to engage in the actions that generate right view: consorting with the wise, hearing the Dhamma, discussing the Dhamma, and wisely reflecting on the Dhamma.
Right view will arise in the future on account of present desire-to-act and present volitions to engage in these actions.
Such volitions are generated through a combination of experiencing dukkha, encountering a faith-worthy object (the Triple Gem) and meritorious accumulations.

Best wishes,
Dhammanando Bhikkhu
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:45 am

Alex123 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: . What we are is what we made ourselves.


Sounds like you are referring to a Self.
That is a dodge that does not address the point, and this sort of dodging is something you do a lot.


tiltbillings wrote:Owners of their kamma are beings, heirs of their kamma, kamma is their womb from which they are born, their kamma is their friend, their refuge. Whatever kamma they perform, good or bad, there of they will be the heirs. - M 135 iii 206. Whatever actions I do, I will be their heir.


You seem to take "owners" to literally mean beings who own things. IMHO the passage does not refer to Owners as a Self or controller of the aggregates, but to a distinct cause-effect streams.
Again, trying to dodge the point of what is said by raising the straw-man “Owners as a Self.” No one is talking about that, but you keep trying to dodge what is being said by trotting it out every time your position is successfully challenged.

I am taking this passage as the Buddha meant it, within the context of the three marks and conditioned co-production. Kamma, by definition of the Buddha, is deliberate, intended action, and this passage is telling us that we are responsible for our actions. No need for a “Self” thingie here, just an acknowledgement that if there are bad choices there will be an increase in suffering in the mind/body stream of continuality:
Dhp 1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

[and good choices]

2. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.
In other words, speaking in a conventional manner, in the context of the three marks and conditioned co-production, our intended actions - kamma - makes us what we are.

tiltbillings wrote:From the arising of choice comes the arising of choosing. And, of course, choosing is between options. Conditionality does not rule it out.


And what was the cause for that particular choice? What motivated to chose this vs that option? What conditions made certain choices even to be considered?
One would have know what the choices and the context are, obviously, before even hazarding a guess.


tiltbillings wrote:Conditions might “force” an event, but there is nothing to say that is a necessary thing in all circumstances.


Are you saying that there are random, uncaused things?
Not even remotely. Again, a question that has been repeatedly answered and is again trotted out by you to deflect the conversation away from what challenges your position.

tiltbillings wrote:When there are options within a conditioned circumstance, there may be pressure towards one choice over another, but the more difficult choice can be made.


And what was the cause, what was the reason for "more difficult choice to be made?"
We’d have to know all the particulars, wouldn’t we?

tiltbillings wrote:You are the one ending your msg by saying that it is all strict determinism. A leaf is blown about by causes. It has no say as where it goes or how it gets there. That is strict determinism, and that is what you are advocating. If you find that emotionally unsatisfactory, that is you, not me.


So do you value the ability to freely choose despite causes & conditions? Is the choice conditioned or unconditioned?
Again, with the “free choice” dodge by you, which has been dealt with several times at length. You keep going back to stuff upon which I have already established and explained my position. It is a dodge on your part. You are obviously not really interested in dialogue or debate. You are the one here that has advocated strict determinism, which renders us naught more than leaves in the winds, but your strict determinism does absolve us of any responsibility for the unpleasant situations in which we find ourselves: those causes, not me, did it, made me what I am. Now there is a position of extreme Self.

tiltbillings wrote: if there is nothing I can do to influence my movement along the path,


Since there is no atta, you cannot do anything. It is just cause-effect without a doer.
And it is not what the Buddha taught.

Fortunately, one does not need a changing Self/Agent thingie for there to be choice, which is what the Buddha taught, and what the Buddha taught is that we are responsible for where we find ourselves and that we must take responsibility for where we are going. We should not hide behind a god or a claim that is all just strict determinism. To call the Buddha’s teachings strict determinism is a remarkably ugly distortion of the very radical and freeing teachings of the Buddha.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:50 am

robertk wrote:This old post by Venerable Dhammanando
Since he is not not here to clarify his position, it is not particularly helpful. Let me ask you since you have expressed agreement with Alex earlier, do you believe, like Alex, it is all strict determinism?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:57 am

Tilt, Mike, all,

In AN6.63 Buddha does say that "Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play". Not choice, not decision, not free will.

If things are only within "cause-effect" then there cannot be free will. Will would occur only as a result, as an effect, of some cause.

Mike's quote just rejected the compatibilist definition of free will and put the rug under all those who claim compatibilist kind of free will.

Mike's article excerpt wrote:Besides the absence of constraint, the compatibilist definition of free will requires also an agent that is capable of monitoring wishes in order to execute actions.


Buddha denied an agent, Atta. Kamma is caused by contact, not by an Agent.
As the Buddha has said: "it is empty of a self or of anything pertaining to a self:" - SN35.85.

And nothing to say about lack of control over 5 aggregates as anatta-lakkhana and MN35 sutta teaches us.

With metta,

Alex
Last edited by Alex123 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby alan » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:10 am

So wrong.
Why meditate, then, in your world view?
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:11 am

Greetings Alan,

alan wrote:Why meditate, then, in your world view?

In the Sujinite world view, you don't... because that would be a "choice"... and how could there be choice without an "agent".

:?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:14 am

Hi Alex,
Alex123 wrote:In AN6.63 Buddha does say that "Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play". Not choice, not decision, not free will.

Before that he also says: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#part-5
"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.


Mike
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:15 am

alan wrote:Why meditate, then, in your world view?


Please explain exactly what you mean by "meditation".

Whatever you mean by "meditation", the answer should be clear by now, because there is no other choice. It is all conditioned.

Reading and considering the Dhamma, which just happened due to wholesome causes, will input lots of new wholesome causes. If there are enough of wholesome causes, there will be no other choice but to progress in a more wholesome direction. This is great!
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:16 am

Greetings,

Alex123 wrote:Whatever you mean by "meditation", the answer should be clear by now, because there is no other choice. It is all conditioned.


:alien:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby Alex123 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:17 am

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Hi Alex,
Alex123 wrote:In AN6.63 Buddha does say that "Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play". Not choice, not decision, not free will.

Before that he also says: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#part-5
"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.


Mike


So Kamma = intention.

Since phassa->kamma , the above also means that phassa -> kamma/intention

So Kamma and Intention are due to phassa. No control.

With metta,

Alex
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Re: Meditation, conditionality, and anatta

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:17 am

Alex123 wrote:Tilt,

In AN6.63 Buddha does say that "Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play". Not choice, not decision, not free will.
No one is talking about free will, but kamma is intended, willful action, which clearly entails choice. If there were no choice, there would be no need for intention.

If things are only within "cause-effect" then there cannot be free will. Will would occur only as a result, as an effect, of some cause.
No one here is advocating free will. You, however, keep bringing up that bugbear of yours rather than actually engage what has been said to you, and as a result of your choice to not engage the points of others without continually going back to the bugbear points that no one here is advocating, this thread have become a major tail chaser. But worse, you are advoicating a position that runs counter to the Buddha's teachings of moral responsibility. You are advocating a postion that, if taken seriously, would undermine anyone's attempt at following that path. You can believe what you choose, but it is not the Buddha's teachings.

If you want to discuss this further, post it here: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=6322. A meditation forum is not the place to argue against the efficacy of what the Buddha taught about bhavana.
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This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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tiltbillings
 
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